Concert History

The Amici Singers normally give three main concerts a year in and around Bedfordshire. They also perform all over the UK and abroad whenever they are able.

In the past they have sung evensong in Norwich Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey. The choir regularly performs on behalf of Barnardos, most notably in 2002 where the concert was held at the Royal Albert Hall and then in July, in the grounds of Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in February 2003 in Ely cathedral alongside Cambridgeshire schools.

The choir has toured extensively, to Belgium, France and the USA singing in such places as The United Nations, New York, Downingtown & Paoli (Pennsylvania), Chicago, Charleston, Damascus (Maryland) and Washington. On their 7th visit in 2002, the choir sang a Blessing at Ground Zero (the site of the Twin Towers in New York), which was a moving and memorable experience.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of their founding, the choir gave a concert in the Bedford Corn Exchange on 5th July 2003 and on this special occasion they were accompanied by The New English Concert Orchestra.  Also taking part in the concert were Carole Lindsay-Douglas (soprano) and their President (at the time) the international percussionist, Nigel Shipway.  To round off the anniversary year, the choir travelled to Norwich and sang out the Christmas edition of BBC Look East with a perfectly timed rendition of “Ding Dong Merrily on High” from the new Christmas work written for them by Douglas.

In April 2004, the Amicis participated in a celebration of 750 years of worship at St Mary’s Church in Over, Cambridgeshire.  The programme included “The Cantebrigge Tale” and three Glenn Miller songs.  All profits from this concert went to support the work of YWAM (Youth with a Mission) on some of the islands on Lake Victoria. The people there are amongst the poorest in the world and the money sent was to provide basic sanitation, clean water and support for AIDS victims and their families.

The summer concert that year took place in their home town of Potton.  They were joined by the strings of The New English Concert Orchestra and the programme included the first performance of “An East Anglian Folk Song Suite”.  The orchestra also played Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and Bach’s “Brandenburg No 3”.  In addition there was a guest appearance by Victoria Goldsmith, a finalist in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, Junior Section who performed Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill”.

Over Easter 2005 the Amicis made their 8th tour to America with three venues – Downingtown, State of Philadelphia, Abingdon, State of Maryland and Damascas, State of Washington.  A very full programme involved many visits to special sites within the states as well as several well-received concerts. For the Summer Concert in July there was a first performance of another of Douglas’ folk suites – this time with an Irish flavour and called “The Singing Emerald Isle”.  The Christmas Concert saw a departure for the Amicis as the performance of “The Infancy of Christ” told the Nativity Story through sound and image.  It contains original music and narration taken from the bible which covers the Annunciation to the return to Nazareth from Egypt where the Holy Family had taken refuge from the wrath of Herod.

2006 was another busy year.  In May a visit was organised to Taunton with a concert at Temple Methodist church on the Saturday and participation in the Sunday morning service.  In June a visit was arranged to Stickford, nr Boston, Lincolnshire to participate in a concert at the invitation of a former member of the Amicis.  The Summer Concert took place at the beginning of July at St. Mary’s Church, Potton.  In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, the programme included his “Missa Brevis in F” as well as Douglas’s “The Singing Emerald Isle”.  Bryan Shaw, principle oboe of The New English Concert Orchestra performed the “Oboe Concerto”, a work written specially for him a couple of years ago by Douglas.  Accompanying the concert was a string orchestra as well as Trevor Hughes on the keyboards.  In October the Amicis were invited to Mundesley in Norfolk to join the Mundesley Singers in a concert and the final concert of the year took place at Dunton Parish Church.

In November 2006 a CD recording was made of “The Infancy of Christ” and other seasonal music – ready for sale over the Christmas period.  This CD and “How much my heart does love to sing”, the choir’s original CD are available for sale from Lindsay Music (see Contacts).